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Anger, Madness, and the Daimonic

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Though the causes of violence in our society are complex, the troublesome human emotions of anger and rage play a central role in the genesis of violent behavior and psychopathology in general. In this provocative book, clinical and forensic psychologist Stephen A. Diamond determines where rage and anger originate and explores whether these powerful passions are--as most p Though the causes of violence in our society are complex, the troublesome human emotions of anger and rage play a central role in the genesis of violent behavior and psychopathology in general. In this provocative book, clinical and forensic psychologist Stephen A. Diamond determines where rage and anger originate and explores whether these powerful passions are--as most people resume--purely negative, pathological, and evil or can be meaningfully redeemed and redirected into constructive activity. Using clinical and biographical case studies, as well as striking visual images, he traces anger, rage, and violence through their most destructive expressions to their creative and transcendent functions in art, psychotherapy, and spirituality.


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Though the causes of violence in our society are complex, the troublesome human emotions of anger and rage play a central role in the genesis of violent behavior and psychopathology in general. In this provocative book, clinical and forensic psychologist Stephen A. Diamond determines where rage and anger originate and explores whether these powerful passions are--as most p Though the causes of violence in our society are complex, the troublesome human emotions of anger and rage play a central role in the genesis of violent behavior and psychopathology in general. In this provocative book, clinical and forensic psychologist Stephen A. Diamond determines where rage and anger originate and explores whether these powerful passions are--as most people resume--purely negative, pathological, and evil or can be meaningfully redeemed and redirected into constructive activity. Using clinical and biographical case studies, as well as striking visual images, he traces anger, rage, and violence through their most destructive expressions to their creative and transcendent functions in art, psychotherapy, and spirituality.

53 review for Anger, Madness, and the Daimonic

  1. 4 out of 5

    Arjun Ravichandran

    This is a solid and intriguing book on existentialist psychology, alternatively known as humanistic psychology. The author takes over the notion of repression from Freud , and agrees with him insofar as repression is the cause of psychic distress ; where he disagrees profoundly is what is the nature of this repression. The author argues that what is repressed is not simply sexuality, but a more complete and profoundly subterranean force, which he terms the 'daimonic'. The daimonic (not to be conf This is a solid and intriguing book on existentialist psychology, alternatively known as humanistic psychology. The author takes over the notion of repression from Freud , and agrees with him insofar as repression is the cause of psychic distress ; where he disagrees profoundly is what is the nature of this repression. The author argues that what is repressed is not simply sexuality, but a more complete and profoundly subterranean force, which he terms the 'daimonic'. The daimonic (not to be confused with demonic) is the psychobiological source of human vitality and energy, and we repress it to our own detriment. A crucial component of the daimonic are the very human impulses of anger and rage. The author makes a convincing case that the majority of the violence we see in our day and age (he starts off his book with a long meditation on the wave of violence that consumed America in the last decades of the 20th century) is due to repressed violence and anger, that became poisoned and exploded in an unpredictable manner. Anger and rage are fundamentally a part of human nature, and it is our existential attitude towards them that causes us to embrace/cultivate or repress them. This is the core message of the book, and it is a well-made point. This thesis is well-argued, using material from mythology, dreams, Jungian shadow-work, and existential philosophy. The book suffers from the usual tendency of psychology books, however, in that it spends a bit too much time attacking other schools of thought. The CBT and purely-biological strands of psychiatric practice, in particular, come in for some well-aimed criticism. Additionally, there were a bit too many examples and counter-examples, and ill-placed case studies that detracted from the flow of the text. But I suppose a purely theoretical book on psychology is to mistake it for philosophy. I also got a bit tired of seeing Rollo May's name crop up every 3 to 4 pages. But to be fair to the author, most of the quotes were well-sourced and quite profound and undoubtedly helped stoke my interest in reading the man in his own words.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    Diamond is a disciple of Rollo May's which makes him interesting enough to me to investigate further. I think Diamond lacks the eloquence of May, but manages to discuss in an in depth way how anger and at times even psychopathology can be used effectively towards a more creative life. It's a good book, very philosophical and historically based at times, but worth a read. Diamond is a disciple of Rollo May's which makes him interesting enough to me to investigate further. I think Diamond lacks the eloquence of May, but manages to discuss in an in depth way how anger and at times even psychopathology can be used effectively towards a more creative life. It's a good book, very philosophical and historically based at times, but worth a read.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Paul A. Toth

    Despite a lot of repetitions and some low-grade psychoanalyzing, this is if nothing else such an excellent compendium of other writers' and psychologists' insights that it pays for itself in interest. The daemonic, which is, as the title indicates, central to the thesis, is also an important and infrequently discussed topic. In fact, Diamond makes a good and believable case that therapists ignore the discussion in literal fear for their own lives. I can't exactly blame them, but on the other han Despite a lot of repetitions and some low-grade psychoanalyzing, this is if nothing else such an excellent compendium of other writers' and psychologists' insights that it pays for itself in interest. The daemonic, which is, as the title indicates, central to the thesis, is also an important and infrequently discussed topic. In fact, Diamond makes a good and believable case that therapists ignore the discussion in literal fear for their own lives. I can't exactly blame them, but on the other hand, isn't the dark side of some slight interest if you want to be a therapist? America, heal thyself. The doctor is at the trough.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jimmy Winokur

    I agree with Diamond's profound notion of the **diamonic"** -- distinct from demonic -- as a psychological force within us that can take over the whole person, and can work for good or ill, but if properly channeled can be the source of great creativity. This makes the book itself profound. Diamond's writing is more clumsy than that of the thinker with whom he studied these ideas, the father of Existential Psychology -- Rollo May. I agree with Diamond's profound notion of the **diamonic"** -- distinct from demonic -- as a psychological force within us that can take over the whole person, and can work for good or ill, but if properly channeled can be the source of great creativity. This makes the book itself profound. Diamond's writing is more clumsy than that of the thinker with whom he studied these ideas, the father of Existential Psychology -- Rollo May.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Gregory Bellarmine

    Simply the most accurate understanding of the mechanics of creativity, how to deal with such an elemental force and grow as an individual. Anyone who has had a "crossroads" experience will be grateful for Prof Diamond's contribution. Simply the most accurate understanding of the mechanics of creativity, how to deal with such an elemental force and grow as an individual. Anyone who has had a "crossroads" experience will be grateful for Prof Diamond's contribution.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    Details how the daimonic is part of our lives but not much on HOW to weave it in, maybe a secret of the trade? Interesting anyways, wiil make me explore more of Rollo May

  7. 5 out of 5

    Joe

    cool. especially the info on daemonea

  8. 4 out of 5

    Penny

  9. 5 out of 5

    Cathy Hookey

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lc

  11. 4 out of 5

    Walter

  12. 5 out of 5

    Cristhian

  13. 4 out of 5

    Clancy

  14. 4 out of 5

    Nib

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ekin Tünçok

  16. 5 out of 5

    Todd SWIFT

  17. 4 out of 5

    Paula

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    Valentina

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    Erick Apolinar

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    Sam

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    Fredy Espinoza

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    Chriskolak

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    dAVE

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    Daniel Talbert

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    Ebonique Ellis

  52. 5 out of 5

    Rudolphf Hatter

  53. 4 out of 5

    John

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